E-scooter rider jailed after housewife suffers leg fracture from collision on footpath
SINGAPORE — While running late for an appointment on his electric scooter, Rizam Kamil crashed into a 48-year-old woman walking on a shared footpath early last year. The housewife’s leg broke from the impact and she had to be hospitalised for five days, incurring S$6,208 in medical bills.
- Rizam Kamil was rushing for an appointment when he crashed into a 48-year-old woman
- She was hospitalised for five days and had to attend several physiotherapy sessions afterwards
- The e-scooter he was riding did not comply with regulations
SINGAPORE — While running late for an appointment on his electric scooter, Rizam Kamil crashed into a 48-year-old woman walking on a shared footpath early last year.
The housewife’s leg broke from the impact and she had to be hospitalised for five days, incurring S$6,208 in medical bills.
Rizam, 30, was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on Tuesday (Aug 25).
He pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing grievous hurt by a negligent act to Ms Balkis Nachiar, a Singapore permanent resident.
District Judge Marvin Bay also ordered Rizam to compensate her for her medical bills, but he said that he could not afford to do so and will serve another week behind bars.
The accident happened on Feb 13 last year. E-scooters have been banned from footpaths since November last year.
Rizam left his home on his Speedway 3 e-scooter and was heading towards Toa Payoh Central to get to a mobile phone shop for his appointment.
He was working as a part-time food delivery rider but was not on the job then.
He had borrowed the e-scooter the previous year from his stepfather, who had bought it from e-marketplace Carousell and it was not yet registered with the Land Transport Authority.
It weighed 24.38kg and was 73cm wide from handlebar to handlebar, which exceeded the 20kg weight and 70cm width requirements. This meant that it was non-compliant under the Active Mobility Regulations 2018.
Other than the installation of a box and headlight, the e-scooter had not been modified.
At about 4.40pm that day, Rizam rode along the footpath — shared by cyclists, e-scooter riders and pedestrians — in front of Block 183 Toa Payoh Central.
Rizam rode close to where people were walking, and his view of the sheltered area adjacent to the footpath was partially obstructed by poster displays.
At the same time, Ms Nachiar, who was shopping in the area, stepped out of the sheltered area and onto the footpath. Rizam could not brake in time and collided into her.
Both parties fell and Ms Nachiar cried out in pain.
Rizam called the police and Ms Nachiar, who was unable to stand, was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Doctors inserted a rod to fix her broken leg two days later. She was discharged another three days later, and had to attend at least three follow-up consultations and seven physiotherapy sessions afterwards.
DETERRENT SENTENCE NEEDED
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee sought the sentence imposed, saying that users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) riding rashly or negligently is still prevalent and “causes considerable public disquiet”.
“The need for a deterrent sentence also arises as Singapore has seen an uptake in active mobility modes of transport after the outbreak of Covid-19, where demand for travel on active mobility devices has increased, because of the larger number of short trips between homes and neighbourhood centres,” the prosecutor added.
In mitigation, Rizam — who did not have a lawyer — pleaded for leniency and said that he was the sole breadwinner of his family. He has two young children aged below five.
“I admit it was my mistake. However, I have to stress it was purely an accident and I did not intend for it to happen,” he added through an interpreter.
Before pleading guilty, Rizam had told District Judge Bay that he wanted an adjournment because he suffers from kidney stones. The judge rejected his request since no surgery has been scheduled for the stones to be removed.
He was meant to plead guilty in November last year, the judge said, and this was the fourth time he had returned to do so.
In sentencing Rizam, District Judge Bay said that he had significant culpability and “plainly failed to keep a proper lookout”.
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that Rizam had called for assistance and helped Ms Nachiar.
He allowed Rizam to begin serving his sentence on Sept 8, in order to settle his personal affairs.
Rizam could have been jailed up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
Related topicscrime court e-scooter crash Toa Payoh
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